Wednesday, 23 October 2013 10:23

Taking The Leap

ShannonFricke Madison_72

I'm lucky to be surrounded by a lot of women in my life... Women of all sorts.... Young, old, mothers, daughters, sisters, careerists, creatives, homemakers, tall, short, blonde, brunette... And for every woman that I meet, in whatever shape or size - I come away from the experience learning something... Of being inspired in some way... You see, every woman has a tale to tell. The tale of love, of pain, of joy, of tears, of adventure, of longing, of hope, of dreams... Women are inspiring - the way we wear our lives so close to the skin. This is what makes us who we are. This is what makes us unique.

I'm lucky in the work that I do - that I hear the unique stories of women on a daily basis. The workshops that I run give me an insiders view into what drives us as a collective - and what inhibits us. What are our most common fears. And what's stopping us from moving ahead in our lives and inparticular, our careers... Last week, I was lucky to meet so many gorgeous women who came to Adairs for the book signings. Each woman told me her story. Of course, the series of events were different for every one. But there was a thread of similarity that underpinned every tale. That similarity was, in fact, a fear. The fear of taking the leap. 

It was Kylie (yes, Kylie, this is for you!) - whom I met last week at a signing - that laid it out so beautifully. I mother with young children, Kylie has spent the last few years dabbling in painting, in sewing and a little interior design. She's a creative woman. A woman who loves and who needs to express her true self on a daily basis - and uses these mediums as her way of finding her daily creative. But Kylie is at a crossroads. The kids are growing up. She senses that they have edged a little closer to living their own lives. And the time has come to 'do' something with her talents. She came to me to find some clarity on how she may be able to move forward. What could she do with these skills that she's accrued? What does she really have to offer? Is it really possible to make money from a creative career? These questions keep spinning around in her head, so much so, that she finds she spends day after day walking around in a metaphorical circle! Until, the thought of it all becomes too much and she retreats back into her regular routine - with a fear that she might never work it out... From there, a crisis of confidence ensues - she contemplates giving it all up. And the cycle begins again.

Ring a bell anyone? The story of Kylie is the story of so many of us. It seems that we women are all underpinned with a similar tale to tell.  How do we turn what we love to do creatively, into what we love to do for a living. And more importantly, how do we build our confidence and push through our fears...

My advice to Kylie was simple. She needed to take a leap of faith. And to take that leap of faith - she needed to change her internal dialogue. So many women are scared to take the leap of faith - trusting their talents and backing themselves 100%. I don't know what the barrier is for us. Perhaps it's education. Perhaps it's upbringing. Perhaps it's a mix of a lot of things that holds us back. But when it comes down to it - taking a leap is the only way forward. Whenever I'm at a crossroads - questioning my ability to make something happen - I try and imagine myself at 80 years of age. Looking back over my life. Over the choices that I've made. At the opportunities I didn't take. I know - that at 80 - the mountain will look like a very small molehill - and I'll be kicking myself at not - at the very least - trying to move towards turning my dreams into a reality. The key is understanding this one key point - that every successful creative struggles with their fears. That, although the process becomes easier when you gain more experience and confidence - we still question our abilities. The difference is this. That everyday, regardless of fear - we take a leap of faith - in ourselves. We do it anyway. We throw ourselves out on the metaphorical edge - we expose ourselves to the market. We cross fingers that our decisions are well received. We take the wins. We accept the losses. And we wake to find another day. Hopefully, not too battle scarred! And with a smile...

Today, in your life - take the leap of faith you need to help you move towards realizing your dreams. It can be a small leap (more of a hop perhaps!) - but take action. Imagine yourself at 80. And remember, the motto - no regrets...


+1 # Julie 2013-10-23 11:26
:-) I took this leap of faith last year and studied Interior Design and now have my own small business on the mid north coast. It has been in my blood from a young age with a mother who was very creative. We spent half our life in fabric shops. I was always re-arranging /styling our home (drove her crazy, but she let me indulge myself). Great article, I'm sure many will follow your wise words. No regrets !
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+1 # Maya @ House Nerd 2013-10-23 11:29
Perfectly written. The picturing yourself at 80 thing gave me a jolt. What a good way to put it - and move your butt into action. In my case I know I have already embarked on a creative journey but parts of me still cling to my old 'comfortable' routine of unsatisfying work, work that makes me feel stagnant and old. it is my lovely husband and friends who are always pushing me to take the leap of faith and plunge into it fully - I just need to do it! Thank you - going to pin this and re-read when I need a motivation boost again.
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+1 # Kylie 2013-10-23 16:43
Shannon I cannot thank you enough for taking so much time to chat and really get to the heart of the matter.
I can't wait to do a workshop in the new year and be inspired by all the other wonderful creatives in the room.
You are an inspiration to me and I still have tears of joy streaming down my face. I am printing this post to remind me to 'take that leap'
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+1 # Karen@RestyledVintag 2013-10-23 20:18
What a wonderful post, I LOVE the part that's about feeling the fear and doing it anyway...So so true! I took the leap in September 2009 and started selling my painted furniture. To my shock and delight, people bought it. Two years ago as a family we took another massive leap - moving from NZ to Australia, and I had to walk away from the business I'd build up and start again in a new country - but I did it! People are still buying my stuff and I love what I do as much as glad I did take those leaps.

Oh and I am was already kind of old (lol) by the time I did this...was too scared to do it earlier :(

xx Karen
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+1 # Karen Calvert 2013-10-26 03:36
This just hollered to me. Omg. I'm so there. I was the DMM at a 5 billion dollar privately owned company. I had 21 fashion and specialty boutiques and bc of bad health had to leave. It was gut wrenching and all that I believed I was was ripped from me. After a year at home I started with DIY stuff after reading you guys. I found my one true love. I've been decorating my home into a safe comfortable haven. I've done and started and not finished more projects than I want to admit bc of fear holds me back, or failure.
Thank you for this. So what is the next step? Getting a decorators degree. What is it called exactly? It's in the arts dept?
Thank you for this and I'm going to get your book today:)!!!!
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+2 # Jacqui 2013-11-01 15:23
It never ceases to amaze me how I seem to stumble upon advice when I need it most. I was just having this conversation with my husband this morning - what should I do? Is there a market for me and my talents? Do I have talents? Thank you Shannon for reminding me that life is short, and sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and do it. Such wise words.
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